Posts Tagged ‘Black-headed Gull’

An Amazing Jouney

Posted: April 2, 2018 in Birds, Natural History
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We sometimes look at species that are with us all year round and miss the fact that our populations are often changing. A species may always be present, but individuals can be very mobile.

 

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Richard Bonsor, a local naturalist, posted this picture of a Black-headed Gull on Facebook last week. From its leg ring, he had been able to trace its amazing journey.

Richard Bonser to Friends of Erith Marshes

I saw this Black-headed Gull SN2N on Thamesmere, Thamesmead (London UK) on 3rd March 2018 – it was ringed at Jakuševec dump, Zagreb, Croatia on 26th February 2017 and seen in Mannheim, southwest Germany on 23rd December 2017. And then yesterday, just 22 days after my sighting, it was on the River Nemiga, Minsk, Belarus – 1,165 miles in 22 days!

On a wildlife photography course at the London Wetland Centre. Good opportunity to get out on the reserve during the practical sessions.

Greylag Geese landing

Blackbird

Grey Squirrel

Mute Swan

Grey Heron

Black-headed Gull

Tufted Duck

Carrion Crow

Green Woodpecker

Ring-nexcked Parrakeet

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

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In the midst of a very busy week in which even blog posts had to take a back seat, it was good to find some time for a visit to the Tarn.

The weather has turned cold again and there is a forecast of snow over the coming days. But it was clear as I began to scan the lake for any new arrivals. The pair of Gadwall are still present but the Eurasian Teal and the Little Grebe that arrived in the last cold spell seem to have moved on.

Gadwall

Gadwall

In fact, it was rather quiet apart from a large flock of Moorhens feeding on the weed, there were no real surprises with just the resident populations of Mallard, Tufted Duck and Coot. The numbers of Moorhens on Tarn have been high this winter – previously 10 was a very good count, but this winter counts of 15-20 are regular and on one occasion the number was over 30. Whether they have been attracted by the weed I don’t know but the group of about 20 today were actively feeding on it.

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A Black-headed Gull seems to have taken a liking to this half-sunken platform as he/she has been roosting here on each of the last 3 visits I have made – they are colony nesters so I can’t think it is prospecting a nest site.

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Greylag Geese

Greylag Geese

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)

About a mile from the RSPB reserve at Leighton Moss is the RSPB reserve at Morecombe Bay. This is a series of pools and mudflats and is at its best when the wading birds are driven off the mudflats in the bay and the estuary of the river Kent by the rising tide and need somewhere to roost and feed above the tide line.

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Redshank

Redshank

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher

In addition birds such as Avocet and Black-headed Gull breed around the pools.

Avocet on nest

Avocet on nest

Avocet

Avocet

Black-headed Gull

Black-headed Gull

Black-headed Gull

Posted: June 14, 2014 in Birds, Natural History
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They say that familiarity breeds contempt and that certainly might be true in the case of the Black-headed Gull. One thing for sure it is certainly a bird contradictions. Firstly, it is not black headed – most of the year, the head is white and in the breeding season it is a chocolate brown colour. Secondly, it most definitely isn’t a seagull as the vast majority of birds are found inland. It is a sociable bird, often seen in flocks and which nests in large colonies. The most recent estimate is that there are 140,000 breeding pairs in the UK and this population is swollen by winter visitors to an estimated 2.2 million birds.

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